I Doubt She’ll Get the ASPCA’s Endorsement

Greg Gnall
2 min readApr 29, 2024

It is hard to think of any despicable act former President Trump has not been accused of, not to mention the many that he himself has admitted. Sexually assaulting and libeling women, engaging in racist housing practices in his NYC apartments, paying bribes to cover up his numerous sex scandals and the little matter of attempting to overturn a legitimate election. At least no one has ever claimed that he killed a puppy.

The same cannot be said of one of the most prominently mentioned names on his vice presidential running mate list, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. Noem, in her soon to be published book No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward revealed that she did exactly that twenty years ago on her South Dakota farm when she shot her unruly 14 month old “untrainable” puppy Cricket after an unsatisfying hunting trip when the dog had shown a tendency to bite people and had attacked a neighbor’s chickens.

Apparently not happy with just one kill, Noem then turned her weapon on a “nasty and mean” goat and put him down as well. Responding to bipartisan disgust at the revelations, Noem, instead of apologizing, said that “tough decisions like this happen all the time on a farm.” The goat’s demeanor was partially blamed on the fact that it was uncastrated. Noem declined to respond to questions about whether such a condition might be a cause of the problem of “nasty and mean” men.

Noem’s VP prospects recently took a hit when she was recently criticized for her video that seemed to endorse the Texas dentist who had performed the dental work that had given her a Trump-perfect and Fox News Ready Smile. Asked about possible future product postings, she said that she had “no plans to endorse Trump’s hairdresser, if that’s what you mean.”

Noem remains controversial in her own state even as she redoubles her MAGA bona fides. She has been banned from the 10% of South Dakota that comprise tribal lands for her statements connecting immigration with crime and the suggestion that drug cartels have infiltrated Native reservations.

The criticism of Noem has extended even to the far right. Former National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch expressed her disappointment that Cricket was not afforded his right to be armed in self-defense. “If a dog cannot exercise its clear Second Amendment rights, then how can other law-abiding citizens be able to protect themselves?” Ms. Loesch said in a statement. “Let’s at least make this a fair fight,” she added.

Former President Trump declined to comment on the Noem flap except to note that President Biden’s dog Commander has had his own share of controversy in his dealings with Secret Service agents leading to his banishment from the White House. “Dogs, terrorists,” Trump noted, “Biden coddles them both.”

“Look, I love puppies, we all love puppies,” Trump stated. But sometimes we have to recognize that many times a puppy is just a dog.”